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A Chief Nursing Officer’s Impact on Nurses

The job of a chief nursing officer (CNO) involves a variety of duties and responsibilities and requires a number of professional skills, such as leadership, communication, and knowledge. Although much of the CNOs’ work is done behind the scenes, the value of these professionals in healthcare organizations cannot be overestimated. The major function of a CNO is the supervision of the quality of care within the healthcare facility. However, CNOs also perform another significant role, which is representing nurses’ interests at board meetings. According to the report prepared by the Institute of Medicine (2010), CNOs’ reporting skills require improvement since due to their inefficiency in this dimension, nurses’ interests are hurt. The purpose of the present paper is to explain the three most important areas of CNOs’ influence on nurses based on research and personal experience.

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The major aspect of a CNO’s influence on nurses is establishing the coordination of nurses’ work with the hospital board’s interests. In this respect, CNOs need to make sure that every nurse knows the responsibilities and complies with them. What is more, a CNO has to maintain a high level of collaboration among nurses. Research indicates that the lack of such cooperation leads to a decreased quality of nursing services and a reduction in patient satisfaction (Ingwell-Spolan, 2018). Hence, it is the CNO’s duty to improve interpersonal relations in the team of nurses. In my previous workplace, there was a problem of communication among nurses from different departments. The CNO dealt with the issue by arranging a series of team-building exercises. As a result, all nurses started to treat their coworkers with greater respect, which considerably enhanced the hospital’s work.

The second area of CNOs’ impact on nurses is arranging a comfortable working schedule, which is one of the prerequisites of any nurses’ job satisfaction. Martin (2015) reports that the endeavor of some CNOs to evaluate the effect of shift length on their subordinates’ burnout led to positive outcomes. Specifically, CNOs realized that by suggesting more than one shift option to nurses, they were able to increase nurses’ dedication and eliminate their fatigue (Martin, 2015). I can refer to a similar case at the hospital where I currently work. When our CNO started to notice that the level of turnover was increasing, she implemented a plan that presupposed a choice of an 8- or a 12-hour shift. Some of the nurses chose the first option, and others opted for the second. The outcome was that nurses noticed their CNO’s concern about them and felt inspired to cope with their strenuous work.

The third dimension of CNOs’ effect on nurses may be reflected in the participation in policy- and decision-making procedures. CNOs have the potential to enhance service delivery since they collaborate with the boards (Cummings, McArdle, McQueen, & White, 2016). CNOs can draw links between the nursing profession and training, which is a beneficial aspect of work. A CNO at the healthcare facility where I once had practice made it possible for nurses to obtain training for free by making some arrangements with the local authorities. I find such actions rather promotional both for nurses and their patients.

To conclude, I would like to assert that CNOs perform crucial functions, and their hard work should be valued. Nurses do much work, but they rarely realize how complicated administrative duties can be. Every team member working for the benefit of patients and communities should be friendly, responsive, and helpful. By pursuing such a goal, hospitals will achieve the best outcomes of their profoundly valuable work.


Cummings, J., McArdle, C., McQueen, F., & White, J. (2016). Chief Nursing Officers: The past, present and future of nursing. British Journal of Nursing, 25(9), 500-502.

Ingwell-Spolan, C. (2018). Chief nursing officers’ views on meeting the needs of the professional nurse: How this can affect patient outcomes. Healthcare, 6(2), 56.

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Institute of Medicine. (2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Report recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Martin, D. M. (2015). Nurse fatigue and shift length: A pilot study. Nursing Economics, 33(2), 81-87.

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